Brandon Clarke recorded a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double as San Jose State (9-21, 4-14) held off Boise State (20-11, 11-7) Saturday afternoon. Anthony Drmic led Boise State with 13 points. James Webb III and Nick Duncan both finished with 11 points for the Broncos.
After a late-season flurry to finish off conference play, Boise State seemed to be in a comfortable situation to knock off San Jose State, which was in the midst of six consecutive losses. However, the Broncos came out flat and eventually ran out of chances against a hungrier Spartan squad, looking to build momentum prior to the Mountain West tournament.
San Jose State led 34-31 at the break in a close first half, but Dave Wojcik's squad shut the door on Boise State's comeback efforts in the second half. BSU led for a measly 3:04 in the second period, as the Spartans gained a nine-point advantage with six minutes left and refused to let a signature win slip. Although a more talented team in BSU, passiveness got the best of the Broncos, ending a brief three-game win streak.
Boise State's offense struggled throughout the afternoon, finishing 2-19 (10.5%) from deep and 17-28 (60.7%) at the free throw line. San Jose State capitalized on its free throw attempts, converting 20-25 including 12-14 from Princeton Onwas, who came into the game a 58.9% free throw shooter. The Broncos are now 0-4 on the season against opponents who finish 80% or better at the line.
The loss proves, yet again, the importance of Boise's stars and their production. The trio of Duncan, Webb and Drmic combined for a 1-11 mark from deep and 13 fouls. Webb was forced to the bench with six minutes left after an unfortunate reach-in foul call after a San Jose State rebound. Without Webb, the offense continued to sputter and did not have enough firepower to complete a comeback.
The bigger picture for both teams, however, is the seeding situation for the Mountain West tournament next weekend in Las Vegas. With the loss Saturday, Boise State is pegged into the 3 seed, and will play the victor of the 6/11 matchup Thursday night (11:30 PM Eastern). Coincidentally, San Jose State, despite its win over Boise State, finishes last in the conference meaning the Spartans will receive the 11 seed. With a win over the 6 seed, these two teams would meet again in the quarterfinals.